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Teen dies during sports event

CHARLESTON — A New Jersey woman was killed as the result of injuries she suffered from her participation in a Mountain Maddness motorsports event Saturday, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Sheriff Jeffrey Smith reported Monday that Katie L. Falgiano, 19, of Budd Lake, N.J. — a passenger in one of the vehicles — died as the result of injuries sustained. He said she was not wearing a seatbelt while in the “street legal” 1998 Jeep Cherokee she was riding.

An autopsy of Falgiano was scheduled to be performed Monday at Albany Medical Center, the sheriff said. He said toxicology will be done during the autopsy in an attempt to determine how she died.

“We believe at this time there was no high speed or reckless behavior, other than driving through a mud pit,” Smith said.

He said it has not been determined yet how the victim died.

“I can’t say right now,’ the sheriff said. “We’re still conducting an investigation.”

Smith said Falgiano was participating in the Mountain Maddness Off-Road Club’s outdoor motorsports event “Boggin’ & Trail Riding” at about 8:59 p.m. Saturday off Lape Road in the town of Charleston.

A news release issued by the sheriff’s office indicated that sheriff’s deputies, fire and EMS personnel were dispatched to a vehicle rollover at 240 Lape Road. Initial reports given to responding personnel was that a female passenger of a vehicle was “partially ejected” from the vehicle and subsequently pinned beneath.

The release said several bystanders who also were attending the event prior to the arrival of emergency services pulled Falgiano from under the vehicle.

Falgiano was flown by LifeNet to Albany Medical Center, but was found to have suffered fatal injuries during the incident and was pronounced deceased at the hospital, the release said.

The sheriff’s office was assisted at the scene by state police, Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department, Greater Amsterdam Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and LifeNet.

According to Mountain Maddness Off-Road Club’s Facebook page, the group’s activities near Esperance caters to “trucks, ATV’s, side by sides and dirt bikes.”

“Our mission is to give our members a safe place to enjoy the outdoor sports they love most,” the club says on Facebook.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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